Airbus expects the first test flight of the A350-1000 by the end of 2016, with delivery to worldwide launch customer Qatar Airways the following year.
"The A350-1000 is progressing very well, everything is on track" says Marisa Lucas-Ugena, Airbus' Head of A350 Marketing, with handover of the first jet launch customer Qatar Airways "in the second half of 2017."
That plane will feature the Gulf airline's new 'business class bedroom', which Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker touts as offering "a double bed at a business class fare."
A larger and longer-range sibling to the A350-900, the ‘dash 1000’ will seat an estimated 350 passengers in a standard three-class layout (assuming business class, premium economy and economy) compared to around 310 on the smaller A350-900.
The next-gen A350 family burns less fuel and produces fewer emissions than most current aircraft, with over two-thirds of the A350’s chassis cast from advanced materials including carbon-fibre composites, titanium and aluminium alloys.
More A350-900s taking wing
Next on the dance card is Brazil’s TAM (part of the newly-branded LATAM Airlines) in December.
Cathay Pacific will use the A350’s debut to introduce new business class and premium economy seats, although the airline has ruled out adding new first class suites to its A350-1000s when they arrive from 2018.
David Flynn visited Toulouse as a guest of Airbus and Finnair.
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